Last minute; where’s the excitement?

I’ve done all-inclusive resorts, packages, flights only, hotels, hostels, airport floors but this is only the second time I’m doing what I consider to be a “last minute” trip. I’m not sure if there’s a ground rule to define last minute but less than 7 days before departure is, to me, on the last minute side. I’m used to planning a trip ahead, buying plane tickets, at least, and then playing it by ear when it comes to accommodations and the like. That way, at least, I know where I’m going ahead of time and it seems like the excitement has time to build up.

This time, I knew I wanted to take a week off in February and that somewhere warm would be nice but that was about all I knew. I looked around, bouncing back and forth between an all-inclusive in South or Central America, maybe even Europe. Anywhere was fair game. I finally narrowed it down to maybe half a dozen different destinations and thanks to the expertise and input of Stephanie from I was able to play the elimination game with myself until I was left with a single destination; Panama.

For some reason Panama had been on my mind for a while and it met all my criteria so it ultimately seemed like a pretty good decision. To my surprise though, it seemed like 7 days wasn’t enough to build the hype in my head and I was left somewhat lukewarm at the idea of going away. I was happy to take time off and to visit a new country but it seemed like the usual excitement I feel when a trip is around the corner simply wasn’t there.

This made me wonder, while deals are often incredibly tempting when it comes to last minute travel, do they make traveling less of an experience we can really feel blessed with? With the economy being where it has been over the past few months, luxuries like travel should be something we are thankful to be doing but it seems that, with a last minute vacation, we forgo the excitement as it doesn’t have time to build up into an experience.

Those of us who can afford to wait for last minute deals obviously have a good reason to do so as there are, more often than not, great savings attached to such sales but if planning ahead and spending a little more time trying to find those bargains can result in a more rewarding, unique and unforgettable experience, it adds a value last minutes bargains simply don’t offer.

*You can also find Stephanie on Twitter at @travelDesigned


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